Girl Power: Meet Tricia Moran, Bay Area Full-Cycle Recruiter - Part 2

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Our continuing series on the rank and file and thought leaders who make us proud of our vocation.

Q&A with Tricia Moran, Full-Cycle Recruiter

Six Degrees: How many applicants at your present employer do you estimate are hired from your corporate website as compared to how many are hired through referrals?

Tricia: Google's bar is so high, I would say the majority of our hires were through referrals as opposed to the website. By far, one of our best source of candidates is employee referrals/leads. Employees' networks generally have the right companies and education that Google looks for. Besides having a great employee referral program we also have other ways to tap into their networks. One is a sourcing party. I have managed several of these. We would organize a room full of Product Managers, for example, provide them with food and drinks and ask them to look into their networks for people from specific companies. People were divided into groups and competed with each other to win fun prizes. This was motivating and fun for both staffing and the client group.

Six Degrees: What is the source of the "Most Hires" collected from at your present employer? (In terms of Quantity #)

Tricia: I think it's a combination of sourcing strategies from sourcers/recruiters and employee referrals. I don't know the exact number. I probably looked at a job board maybe once during the whole time I was at Google. We are looking for superstars which means I won’t likely find them on a job board and will have to really hunt for them. We work very closely with the client group to find and qualify the best possible candidates.

Six Degrees: What is the source of your "LOWEST COST OF HIRES" - (least amount of invested resources for the easiest hires, regardless of quality) at your present employer?

Tricia: I think the lowest cost of hires is between both a candidate that has applied through the website and employee referrals/leads. Thousands and thousands of people apply through the website each day so we have a tremendous database. When a candidate is not right for one group it doesn't mean that we will discount them all together. Other groups will do searches on the database and snatch them up quickly. Also, candidates that were not ready to make the move two years ago may now be ready. So searching through the database is definitely valuable. There are always a few gems to be found!

Six Degrees: What talent niche groups do you target and are these particular talent areas specialized under your review?

Tricia: While at Google I targeted folks for the Product Marketing group under the Product Management organization. I looked for extremely bright individuals that have usually have a combination of the following skills: internet or software background, consulting firm experience, entrepreneurial and marketing savvy. We also look for highly analytical and well-rounded folks. If they are currently training for the Olympics, or nobel prize winners or concert pianists Google will love them! We were lucky to be able to get the attention of some amazing talent. One of my most favorite candidates was a finalist in Donald Trump's "The Apprentice" who I am friends with till this day! I also once sourced a candidate that spent a couple years in the NFL as a professional football player. Anyway, once we hired the Product Marketing Managers they would be allocated to different products for example, Adwords, Webmaster Tools, and Google Checkout.

Six Degrees: What types of training in sourcing/recruitment are available to you and have you taken advantage of?

Tricia: At Google we were fortunate to have a lot of resources at our fingertips which includes special sourcing training classes. They had dedicated instructors just for this purpose. They taught everything from search strings to patent searches to networking. I have also been to a few HRCA sourcing meetings with Shally Steckerl, Founder of JobMachine Inc.. As far as recruiting training, last year we had a Product Staffing team summit for a couple of days. Recruiters from all over the world, including Asia and Europe, flew in to participate. Our goal was to maximize our skills and become super recruiters! This means finding the best candidates, giving the candidates the best possible "candidate experience", and how to work well with the client group. Our day was split into different sessions- interviewing training, ATS training, Directors/VPs giving talks etc. This was such a valuable experience for me.

Six Degrees: What recruitment software tools do you use in your day to day recruitment activities & do they translate effectively within all of the different countries where you recruit?

Tricia: First and foremost my most used recruitment software tool is our own internal Applicant Tracking System. It's definitely the best ATS I have ever used. It's so user-friendly in performing searches, scheduling interviews, contacting candidates, keeping track of the pipeline etc. It's also constantly evolving with current recruiting trends. In the two months or so that I've been gone it's probably changed quite a bit. “Linked In” is definitely the next biggest “day to day” recruiting tool. I'm such a huge fan of this tool. You can do exact searches on passive candidates from specific companies. Of course there are other great tools such as Spoke, Jigsaw, Xing. I use a combination of tools daily.

Six Degrees: What tools (technology or old school file folder, for example) did you first encounter early in your recruitment career?

Tricia: Since I started about nine years ago we had an “old school” system. We had a huge filing cabinet of resumes. We didn't even have internet at that time believe it or not. I think a year after I started we had one work station that had the internet. My job as a junior recruiter was to go through all the resumes and call candidates for their status and to update the resumes. We also had a company proprietary database, which was not the most user-friendly tool! I have no idea how we survived without the tools we had today.

Six Degrees: How did your expectations of being a recruiter compare to the actual, first time you got on the phone or in the cubicle? To this day would you say people's assumptions about our vocation differ from reality?

Tricia: Well, I when I first started I was really afraid it was going to be like a telemarketing job. I thought I would be cussed out and hung up on. This was not the case, for the most part. Most people didn't mind or were happy to receive your call. It was flattering for them to be headhunted. Most people took the time to listen. The difficult part in the beginning, since I never had any experience in high tech, was trying to submerge myself in the technology and to have the ability to qualify a candidate based on their resume. Since then, though, I have learned to also keep constant with the changing technologies and qualifying a candidate is second nature to me.

Six Degrees: Worst mistake, biggest goof, lousiest practice you thought would fly but didn’t…and how that was a learning experience?

Tricia: In the early days of my career, I told a candidate that they had the job without making sure the manager signed off on it. The whole team loved the candidate but the manager changed his mind at the last minute. Telling the candidate the disappointing news one of the hardest phone calls I ever had to make to. I really care about most of my candidates so giving them bad news is always so heartbreaking. Even till this day!

Six Degrees: What advice do you have for your peers in the staffing industry?

Tricia: My vision or advice for any recruiter is to leave your ego at the door and work with your staff members the best you can. Treat your coordinators, sourcers and fellow recruiters as if they were the most important resource to you. Take them to lunch, make them feel what they are doing is making a difference. They will make you and what you are trying to accomplish their first priority. I have made many lasting friendships with co-workers who have helped me become successful.

I think being flexible. When you work for a global company, 9-5pm might be your schedule in the US, but when you are working with teams around the world, you need to be flexible. I've had conversations with recruiters in different parts of the world at all hours of the night. If a recruiter is busy and needs me to pick up their candidate I will happily do so. The ability to communicate anytime and get what you need to fulfill your goals are important.

Six Degrees: What are some of the frustrating aspects/obstacles to your day to day as a staffing professional and in general?

Tricia: There are different issues. One is getting feedback from interviewers in a timely manner. This is a problem I feel never changes from job to job. Sometimes some people have a lack of respect for staffing and don't see their value. I am not pointing out a specific company but I've seen this several times. Another issue is when you feel a certain candidate is the best person for the job but they are rejected anyway by the group or hiring manager. Always a difficult one!

Six Degrees: What are the most common themes of strategic and/or tactical mishaps involving past or present HR/Staffing org?

Tricia: One staffing firm I worked at had some issues. The model was a business development team and recruiter team. Recruiters could pick and choose reqs they want to work on. This left some business development managers high and dry because some had no support at all. This caused major morale issues in the office. There was a lot of resentment between the two teams.

Six Degrees: Considering all of the frustrations you have experienced in your career as a recruiter, -- what inspires you as you continue in your career?

Tricia: Even though I was only a contractor at Google, I took a stake in the company and worked extremely hard to exceed my goals. I was a "Googler" in every way. I believed in the company and the people. It made me proud to be working for such a great company and it showed in my work. I accomplished a lot there and my references have said some incredible things about me. Just the fact that I made an impact at a company like Google, inspires me to continue recruiting as my profession. I also love helping people achieve their dream job. The best thing is when you tell them they got the job and can almost feel them smiling brightly on the phone.

Six Degrees: Anything you want to plug?

Tricia: I've been traveling for the last few months and now I am looking for a new position!

Six Degrees: How Are You Going To Change The Recruitment Industry?

Tricia: Hire me and I will make an impact at your company!

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